Friday, September 3, 2010

I need me a writing time travel machine

Here's what I've been up to lately: reading writing books. Some of them are better than others, but they all make me think, whether that's new technique, new markets, or new ideas.
I've been pondering one of my WIPs, trying to figure out a timeline. The story needs to take place over about three years, but I don't want to do it in flashbacks, since the stuff that happens three years in the past has a storyline, too. I'm thinking about introducing each scene with either the MC's age or maybe a date or some other indication of time passing. My question is: It's unusual for the action in a YA novel to take place over any longer time span than a year. Can you think of any YA books that stretch the timeline out or that include lots of action in the past so I can read them and learn?

5 comments:

Melanie said...

I'm trying to think of YA books that do it, but I'm coming up blank. The Forgotten Garden does it, though. She started each chapter with a year and a location so you knew who you were dealing with. It was a complicated story though, much too deep for YA. But I still think it's worth the read to get an idea of how to build a story over time.

Janna Qualman said...

I can't think of any, but only because I'm not well-versed in YA.

I know this piece of advice isn't going to help you, since you'll not have an example to draw from, but do it yourself! Create a book that handles times this way, and make it your own.

Good luck! :)

Talli Roland said...

Yup - I can! If I Stay switches betweent the present and the past. It's by Gail Foreman.

Shelley Sly said...

YA is one of the genres I read the least, so I can't think of a book that does that. However, I do like the idea of mentioning the year at the beginning of the chapter to make it less confusing. Good luck with your writing!

MT said...

I think Ann Dee Ellis does it in one of her YA books - and she's got a very unique writing style, almost script like. Maybe you'd like to give them a try. "Everything is Fine" and "This is What I Did".